Houlton Pioneer Times

Three County students are scholarship finalists

EVANSTON, Illinois — Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation have announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The list includes three from Aroostook County.

From Houlton, homeschooled student Simon P. Babcock earned the honor, and from the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Vealy Lai and Greyson Orne were named.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring. Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level.

 High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application covering the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

Finalists will be notified of this designation sometime in February 2022. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

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